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Saumur-Champigny, Franc de Pied, Roches Neuves - 2020

For this "exercise in style", Thierry Germain planted a very high density vine "franche de pied", i.e. without rootstock, directly in the soil, as it was done before phylloxera. The wine, which is very confidential (only 1,000 bottles per year), has delicate, subtle tannins and a refined texture reminiscent of some very fine Pinot Noirs. Superb!
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For this cuvée, the latest addition to the estate, high-density planting of free-standing vines, i.e. without rootstock, directly in the soil, as was the case before phylloxera. Confidential wine, only 18 ares of vines, 1'000 bts per year. Clay-limestone soil with sand that is not very conducive to parasites.


Hand harvested in boxes, sorting table before vatting. The grapes are not destemmed (very rare for this variety) and are vinified in oval wooden vats with a single punching down. The aim here is to extract only the noble part of the grape.

Suggestions for accompaniment

Rabbit rilettes with herbs - Farm poultry with bacon.

Thierry Germain arrived in the Loire in the early 1990s. At the time, the French state was financing wine estates and his father suggested he set up there. In 1992, he took over the Roches Neuves estate, previously run by Denis Duveau. At that time, the property had 13 hectares of vines, to which 6 hectares were added in 1996. His career was marked by a number of important encounters with leading figures in the world of wine, including Charly Foucault (his second father), Gérard Gauby (his winegrowing role model) and François Bouchet, who is now deceased. In 1999, the entire estate went organic and biodynamic in 2000 and 2001. The estate - and the man - continued to evolve and it was in 2012 that the synergy took a new turn, when Thierry bought the property from the Union Française de Gestion. A year later, with the acquisition of new plots of very high quality (Clos de l'Echelier, Clos Romans among others), the estate finally has around thirty hectares. The estate then became one of the references for great Loire wines, and even for great French wines: the latest vintages were acclaimed by the world's critics, and the most discerning wine lovers snapped up the best vintages. However, even the simplest vintages vibrate and move...

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